Klaus Kinski

Klaus Kinski

Additional Names: Klaus-Günther Nakszynski (Geburtsname)
Darsteller
*18.10.1926 Zoppot, Ostpreußen (heute Sopot, Polen); †21.11.1991 Labunita, Kalifornien, USA

Biography

Klaus Kinski was born as Klaus-Günther Nakszynski in Zoppot/Ostpreußen (today: Sopot, Poland) on October 18, 1926. From 1931 on, he lived and went to school in Berlin. Drafted into military service, he became a British POW during WWII and had his first acting experience performing for his fellow inmates. After the war, he returned to Berlin and made his stage debut at the Schloßpark theatre, followed by engagements throughout the town and guest appearances at other theatres in Austria and West-Germany. In the early 1950s, he became famous for his exalted public readings of the works of Villon and Rimbaud.

Kinski started acting in movies as early as 1948, first appearing in minor roles, for instance as a transvestite in Roberto Rossellini's "La Paura", as demented prince Otto in Helmut Käutner's "Ludwig II.", as a lieutenant in Laslo Benedek's "Kinder, Mütter und ein General", and as an assassin in Fritz Kortner's "Sarajevo".

In "Die toten Augen von London", directed by Alfred Vohrer, Kinski left a lasting impression as the psychopathic bad guy, a part he continued to play in several more screen adaptations of crime novels by British writer Edgar Wallace. These films enjoyed enormous success in Germany, and therefore significantly shaped Kinski's public image.

From 1964 on, Kinski resided in Rome and was cast for many international productions. He starred in Sergio Leone's "Per qualche dollari in più", appeared in "Doctor Zhivago" by David Lean, and excelled as merciless bounty hunter Tigrero in Sergio Corbucci"s pessimistic Western "Il Grande Silencio". His trademark looks and exuberant performances made Kinski the star of many B-pictures and exploitation films in the 1960s, most of which were sold on the promise of Action, Sex and Horror.

Yet the 1970s saw the actor return to more demanding roles, most prominently in the films of maverick director Werner Herzog, with whom Kinski established a unique creative and personal relationship. Films like "Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes", "Nosferatu – Phantom der Nacht", "Woyzeck" or "Fitzcarraldo" were hailed as daring cinematic adventures and also thrived on the much publicised tensions between the two uncompromising artists.

Kinski also continued to appear in international features, most notably as a neurotic sex scientist in Billy Wilder's comedy "Buddy Buddy" and alongside Romy Schneider in Andrzej Zulawski's melodrama "L'Important c'est d'aimer".

In 1987/88 Kinski finally realized a longtime project of his in the form of "Kinski – Paganini". Kinski, whose daughter Nastassja Kinski (born 1961) also became a famous screen actress in the late 1970s, remained a flamboyant celebrity all his life: He was notorious – and also in high demand – for his scandalous TV appearances and interviews, and his candid autobiography "Ich bin so wild nach deinem Eredbeermund" became a much-talked about bestseller.

Klaus Kinski passed away in Labunita, CA (USA) on November 21, 1991.

Filmography

2007/2008 Jesus Christus Erlöser
Participation
 
1998/1999 Nina Hagen = Punk + Glory
Voice
 
1998/1999 Mein liebster Feind
Participation
 
1987 Cobra Verde
Cast
 
1987 Herzog in Afrika
Participation
 
1985 Kommando Leopard
Cast
 
1984 Geheimcode Wildgänse
Cast
 
1981/1982 Fitzcarraldo
Cast
 
1981 Buddy Buddy
Cast
 
1979/1980 Stumme Liebe
Cast
 
1978/1979 Woyzeck
Cast
 
1978 Nosferatu - Phantom der Nacht
Cast
 
1976/1977 Nuit d'or - Die Nacht aus Gold
Cast
 
1976 Jack the Ripper - Der Dirnenmörder von London
Cast
 
1975 Das Netz
Cast
 
1975 Nobody ist der Größte
Cast
 
1975 Margot Werner
Cast
 
1974/1975 Nachtblende
Cast
 
1974 Che botte, ragazzi!
Cast
 
1972 Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes
Cast
 
1971 Dracula im Schloß des Schreckens
Cast
 
1969/1970 Der Mann mit der Torpedohaut
Cast
 
1969/1970 Nachts, wenn Dracula erwacht
Cast
 
1969/1970 Satan der Rache
Cast
 
1969/1970 Wie kommt ein so reizendes Mädchen zu diesem Gewerbe?
Cast
 
1969 Das Gesicht im Dunkeln
Cast
 
1968/1969 Marquis de Sade: Justine
Cast
 
1968/1969 Il grande silenzio
Cast
 
1968/1969 Paroxismus
Cast
 
1968 Der Bastard
Cast
 
1968 Sartana - Bete um deinen Tod
Cast
 
1967/1968 Mit Django kam der Tod
Cast
 
1967/1968 Mister zehn Prozent - Miezen und Moneten
Cast
 
1967 Die blaue Hand
Cast
 
1966/1967 Top Job
Cast
 
1966 Das Geheimnis der gelben Mönche
Cast
 
1966 Gern hab' ich die Frauen gekillt
Cast
 
1966 Circus of Fear
Cast
 
1965/1966 Für ein paar Dollar mehr
Cast
 
1965 Spione unter sich
Cast
 
1965 Neues vom Hexer
Cast
 
1964 Das Geheimnis der chinesischen Nelke
Cast
 
1964 Winnetou II
Cast
 
1964 Die Gruft mit dem Rätselschloß
Cast
 
1964 Das Verrätertor
Cast
 
1964 Traitor's Gate
Cast
 
1963/1964 Wartezimmer zum Jenseits
Cast
 
1963/1964 Der letzte Ritt nach Santa Cruz
Cast
 
1963/1964 Kali Yug. 1. Teil: Die Göttin der Rache
Cast
 
1963 Piccadilly null Uhr 12
Cast
 
1963 Das Geheimnis der schwarzen Witwe
Cast
 
1963 Kali Yug - Aufruhr in Indien
Cast
 
1963 Scotland Yard jagt Dr. Mabuse
Cast
 
1963 Das indische Tuch
Cast
 
1963 Die schwarze Kobra
Cast
 
1963 Der schwarze Abt
Cast
 
1963 Der Zinker
Cast
 
1962 Der rote Rausch
Cast
 
1962 Das Gasthaus an der Themse
Cast
 
1962 Die Tür mit den sieben Schlössern
Cast
 
1961/1962 Das Rätsel der roten Orchidee
Cast
 
1961 Die Kurve
Cast
 
1961 Das Geheimnis der gelben Narzissen
Cast
 
1961 Bankraub in der Rue Latour
Cast
 
1961 Die seltsame Gräfin
Cast
 
1961 Die toten Augen von London
Cast
 
1960 Der Rächer
Cast
 
1958 A Time to Love and a Time to Die
Cast
 
1956 Geliebte Corinna
Cast
 
1955/1956 Waldwinter
Cast
 
1955 Sarajevo
Cast
 
1955 Hanussen
Cast
 
1954/1955 Kinder, Mütter und ein General
Cast
 
1954/1955 Ludwig II.
Cast
 
1954 Angst
Cast
 
1947/1948 Morituri
Cast